The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.―Ben Okri
Truly stated, with due respect to politicians (ahem!). Drawing the audience's attention away from his technique is the key to the magician's success. It is this art, a dexterous trick of the hands, that imparts an aura of elusiveness to a magician's performance. No, it doesn't come easy; magic and optical illusions are as much about showmanship as they are about tricks and sleights, and it all takes some amount of practice to come up with a smooth performance, with not even the slightest slip that might give away the trick to any discerningly alert and observant fragment of the audience.
Coin tricks are some of the basic tricks, and are among the initial items that a novice learns on his introduction to street or stage magic. Thomas Nelson Downs, J. B. Bobo, Apollo Robbins, David Roth, Dean Dill, Shoot Ogawa and David Stone are some of the most prominent names in the sphere of professional coin magic. Easy coin tricks can be learned by anyone and most of these tricks do not require any props or manipulations to the coins―it's all a matter of developing the skill of 'quick fingers'.
Simple Coin Tricks to Learn
The following tricks are easy to learn, and, with some practice, easy to perform for a live audience.
This is one of the most fascinating and staple coin tricks, and almost everyone has seen it sometime or the other. A coin is placed on a flat surface, usually a table, and it mysteriously dissolves into thin air! This is how it is done:
- Place the coin upon the table with your left hand.
- Say some catch phrase like 'Are you ready?' or 'Check this out, folks!' while reaching over with your right hand.
- Press down on the coin with your index, middle, and ring finger, keeping your forearm parallel to the table.
- Slide the coin towards the edge of the table, towards yourself, and let it fall in your lap, making sure it is completely covered by your fingers, without allowing the spectators to see this process.
- Touch your thumb and middle finger as if you are attempting to pick up the coin from the table.
- Keep your fingers closed and pretend to stare at the supposed coin that you're holding between your fingers. Pretend to rub it between your fingers, slowly.
- Move your hand away from your body, back to where you had originally placed the coin and slowly open your hand and turn your palm upwards, holding your fingers apart.
- Lo! The coin has vanished! Put up an act of genuine surprise to keep the audience entertained!
Silk Eats the Coin
This trick requires some practice with manipulating things with your hands. For this trick, you need two props―a large, dark-colored, silk handkerchief and an elastic band/rubber band. Here is how it goes:
- Wrap a thin, transparent elastic band around the four fingers of one hand before starting with your performance. If you are unable to procure a transparent band, make sure the color of the band is as close to your skin color as possible. For instance, if you have a light wheatish complexion, use a band which is off white or creamish in color. No contrasting reds, greens, blues please.
- Place the opened silk handkerchief on the palm of the same hand which has the band around the fingers.
- Place the coin on your palm which is covered with the silk and close your fist, allowing the elastic band to slide off your fingers and rest around the coin, so that the coin gets trapped inside the pouch created by the band and a portion of the handkerchief.
- Now, and here is where your personal expertise comes into play, with a quick flourish, jerk the silk open and wave it quickly, holding it by a corner, in front of the audience.
- What the audience sees is that the coin doesn't fall out even when the handkerchief is fully open with you holding it by just a corner. What they don't see is...you got it, right?
Coin Out of Ear
This is a favorite of children and they never seem to get enough of it. This one is real easy to do and requires no props at all. Let see ho it is done.
- Before approaching your subject, most probably a child, hold coins between your fingers on the back side.
- Let your hand approach the child's ear with the palm facing the child, so that he/she cannot see the coins that are held on the back.
- As you touch behind the subject's ear, curl your fingers towards your palm and slip the coin inside your palm. With a little practice, you'll develop the speed and ability to do it with multiple coins and without letting the coins slip to the ground!
Now, go ahead, start practicing and charm the crowd, especially the kids, at the next social occasion. The kids will love you for showing them these tricks; they would worship you if you teach them how to do these tricks. Go ahead, make some jaws drop! Abra-ka-dabra!